Our Team

Now We're Talking Leslie Bigwood

Leslie Bigwood, M.S., CCC-SLP, Owner

Leslie attended the University of Central Florida and received her masters degree from Florida State University.  She previously worked in pediatrics in the public school system serving pre-k-12th grade and in pediatric private practice focusing on early intervention and childhood apraxia of speech. Prior to partnering with Ashley, she owned a comprehensive outpatient private practice in Georgia.  She is excited to bring her passion of practice management to the Low Country.

Leslie lives in Bluffton with her husband and children. She enjoys exploring the shops and restaurants of Old Town Bluffton, traveling, and beach time with her family.

Ashley Cubbage, MSP, CCC-SLP, Owner

Ashley was born in St. Louis Missouri, but grew up in both Tampa, Florida and Washington DC. She attended Clemson University (Go Tigers!) for her undergraduate degree. She went on to receive her masters degree in speech pathology from the University of South Carolina. While studying at the University of South Carolina she applied for and was accepted to a specialized track within the program focusing on neurogenic and medically compromised patients. Ashley completed her graduate externship at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. She has lived and worked in the Lowcountry area since 2014. Prior to partnering with Leslie, Ashley provided therapy services for the birth to three population and school-age children. Her passion for this community and the families that are within it drove her to partner and start Now We’re Talking Therapy Services with her friend Leslie Bigwood. Ashley lives on Hilton Head Island and enjoys taking advantage of everything the Lowcountry has to offer with her husband, two sons, and dog, Bear.


Makala Scott, M.S., CF-SLP

Makala grew up in Vero Beach, Florida. She graduated from Florida State University in 2016, where she obtained her undergraduate degree in Communication Science and Disorders. She then attended Auburn University and received her Masters of Science in Speech Language Pathology in 2021. Makala has worked in both an adult rehabilitation facility and a pediatric private practice throughout her career. She has a passion for early intervention and language development as well as feeding therapy. When she is not in the office, Makala enjoys staying active with CrossFit and playing with her two dogs, Nala and Buddy! On the weekends, she spends her time boating with her husband, renovating their home, baking, and taking day-trips to nearby towns.

Amanda Henzler M.A., CCC-SLP

Amanda grew up in New York but moved to Pittsburgh, PA to attend college and graduate school.  She received her master’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders in 2004 at the University of Pittsburgh.  Amanda moved to Georgia after graduating in 2004, but finally settled in Bluffton in 2011 with her husband, Chris.  She has experience working with both adults and children, but has a passion working in the pediatric setting.  Amanda loves working in the community and the child’s natural setting, helping caregivers obtain tools and learn the strategies needed to help improve their child’s speech and language skills.  Amanda has hours and hours of play experience with her own two children, which, in her opinion, has made her a better, more understanding therapist.

Now We're Talking Stephanie Verba

Stephanie Verba, M.A., CCC-SLP

Stephanie grew up in the small town of St. Clairsville, Ohio. She graduated from Ohio University, where she obtained both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Go Bobcats! She moved to Hilton Head Island in 2016 to begin her career as a speech-language pathologist. Stephanie has worked in both private practice and school settings. Stephanie enjoys working in pediatrics because she gets to be a part of children’s’ growth from day one and form relationships with each child and their family. Stephanie appreciates the youthful spirit experienced daily when working with children.

In her spare time, Stephanie stays active and is always on the go! Some of her favorite hobbies include running, paddle boarding, and teaching Pure Barre. She ran four half marathons over the past two years and believes that the excitement of crossing the finish line never gets old! She explores the Lowcountry by paddle boarding in new areas throughout Beaufort County. Stephanie also teaches Pure Barre in Hilton Head on the weekends and loves connecting with those in the community!

Alexandra Acheson, M.S, CCC-SLP

Alexandra Acheson, M.S., CCC-SLP

Alex received her Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Georgia and her Masters of Science in Communication Disorders from Armstrong State University. She has worked in pediatric private practice for her entire career. Alex is passionate about providing bilingual therapy to the Spanish speaking community in the area. She loves developing connections with her kiddos and their families through engagement to provide the best level of therapy she can.

In her free time, she is often spending time with her family, enjoying movies and television shows, playing a game of Mario Kart or Dungeons & Dragons, showering her dog, Kona, with love and attention, or cramming in as many attractions as possible at a theme park.


Allison Thatcher, M.S., CF-SLP

Allison Thatcher, M.S., CCC-SLP

Allison was born and raised in Easton, Pennsylvania. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Pennsylvania State University and her Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Baylor University. Allison has a passion for helping kids develop their communication skills while having fun doing it. She is new to the Lowcountry and loves spending time walking on the beach with her puppy, Cassie. 


Madison Vicendese, M.S., CCC-SLP

Madison was born and raised in Ellicott City, MD and recently moved to the Lowcountry. She was a student-athlete at East Stroudsburg University where she received her bachelor’s degree in communication sciences and disorders and played softball. She stayed at East Stroudsburg University to receive her master’s degree in communication sciences and disorders while working as a graduate assistant coach for the softball team. She has worked with children in school-based and telehealth settings as well as adults in clinical settings. She found her passion for working with pediatrics from being surrounded by her 5 younger siblings growing up and working camps with youth baseball and softball players. Madison enjoys running, hiking, exploring new cities on the weekends with her friends, playing pickleball, catching up with her family when they are in town, and spending time with her cat, Vanellope. 


Ciara Figueroa, SLP-A

Ciara is from a small town in central Massachusetts. She attended Worcester State University with a Bachelors of Science, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Art. After graduating with her degree, she went on to volunteer in homes and hospitals for special needs children in Haiti and Peru. She also taught English to young girls in Peru. Her volunteer experiences led her to pursue a career working with children. Ciara worked as a one to one instructional assistant to children on the spectrum and children with physical disabilities in the public school system. While working full time in the school system, part time at a local boutique and starting a small side business of black and white paintings, Ciara received her second Bachelor’s degree. Since graduating with her degree in Speech Pathology, Ciara accepted a SLP-A  job at The Lab School of Washington in DC which specializes in children with dyslexia. She has worked and coached soccer, basketball and track with children with dyslexia ranging from grades 1- 12th grade. She decided to explore a different part of the country and moved to Savannah. Ciara is excited to begin her journey in the world of pediatric therapy and can not wait to see where it takes her. She loves connecting with children and being silly with them any chance she gets.

Ciara enjoys good food, checking out new places, going to concerts and listening to loud music as she paints. Even though her family and best friends are back home in Massachusetts and DC, She always values time spent with them when she’s home or through facetime. Her favorite food group is cheese.


Becky Dasher, SLP-A

Becky was born and raised in the buckeye state of Ohio. Her family relocated to the temperature-friendly state of South Carolina in 1994. Although her path has led her to many places, it wasn’t until she met and formed a close relationship with a child on the Autism spectrum named Morgan that changed the trajectory of her life. Previously an esthetician working at Bobbi Brown and Channel, Becky left the beauty world in Charlotte NC and moved to Columbia SC to pursue her bachelors degree at Columbia College (Go Koala’s!). In 2012 she received a bachelors of arts degree and a certification to practice as an SLP-A in the state of South Carolina. She has worked her entire career within a private pediatric multidisciplinary clinic.  Her passion is working with children on the spectrum and working with  fine tuning literacy skills. In her private life she lives in GA, is married and is a die hard Clemson fan (Go Tigers!). She is a proud cat mom to 4 indoor cats: Iris Jane, Ruby, Sammy Jr and Jakey Snuggle and feeds every stray cat that shows up at their house. When she is not working Becky enjoys the quiet and slow pace of country life in GA all while binging on streaming services.


Brooke Johnson, OTR/L

Brooke received her Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from Georgia Southern University and her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences. She has experience working with both adults and children, but found her passion for pediatrics through her work in the public school system, volunteering for various camps, and coaching adapted sports leagues. She values meeting kiddos where they are, capitalizing on their strengths, and helping them achieve their goals through fun and creative activities. She enjoys going to the beach, running, and spending time with her friends and family (including her Aussie, Yeti girl, of course)!

Gabrielle Amos, OTR/L

Gabrielle grew up in Quincy, Illinois. She attended Truman State University to obtain her bachelors in Health Science. During her time in college, Gabrielle taught dance classes for children of all ages! She also worked as direct support for teenagers with special needs to promote independence for adulthood. Gabrielle attended Missouri State University to earn her Occupational Therapy degree. She has clinical experience in the Intensive Care Unit, outpatient pediatrics and the school setting. Upon graduation, Gabrielle moved to Bluffton to begin her work at Now We’re Talking and loves living in the Lowcountry! Gabrielle enjoys the beach, weekend trips to Charleston, reading and spending time with her puppy Micco! 


Madeleine Harbin, OTR/L

Madeleine grew up in Houston, Texas. She graduated with her bachelor’s degree in public health from the University of Alabama. Roll Tide! She returned to Houston to attend Texas Woman’s University to earn her master’s degree in occupational therapy. She has clinical experience working in outpatient pediatrics, schools, acute care, and inpatient rehabilitation. Upon completion of her pediatric clinical rotation in Charleston, Madeleine knew she wanted to continue working with children and moved back to the Low Country. She is excited to utilize her creativity within play-based interventions to help motivate children to achieve their goals. Madeleine enjoys painting, DIY projects, traveling, being outdoors, and cuddling with her bunny, Latte.


Gina DiPaolo , COTA

Gina grew up in Rochester, NY and attended her occupational therapy assistant program at Jamestown Community College. She has worked exclusively in private pediatric practice. Gina finds it so rewarding to help meet the sensory processing needs of the kiddos she serves, as well as form strong bonds with their families. In her free time, she enjoys being outside in the Lowcountry and going on weekend adventures.
Allison Johnson

Allison Johnson, PT, DPT

Alli grew up in New Jersey but moved to South Carolina in 2008 to attend the University of South Carolina for both her undergraduate and graduate degrees. She received her Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science with an emphasis in motor development and her Doctorate in Physical Therapy. She has worked as a travel physical therapist, allowing her to explore the country while treating individuals of all ages in a variety of settings. Within the past year, she has moved to the Low Country and decided to make it her permanent home to pursue her main interest of working with children. She has a special interest in early intervention, neurological disorders, torticollis, and sports injuries. She has additional training in TMR teens and tots, a modified positional release concept that can be used to treat postural asymmetries, such as torticollis. She values working with new kiddos and families to educate them on various play techniques that will help their kids hit developmental milestones in a fun and interactive way. She also hopes to become a trained yoga instructor and incorporate this into her treatment styles for her older kids. In her spare time, Alli enjoys spending time on or by the water, reading, exploring new places with her boyfriend and dog, Bandit, and being the “fun” aunt to her nieces.


Alexa McAteer, PTA

Alexa was born in New Jersey, but grew up in Bluffton, South Carolina. When deciding what to do after high school, she decided to go into the field of physical therapy because she was attracted to the idea of dedicating her secular hours to helping others. Through the years, she has learned that physical rehabilitation can be a successful endeavor with teamwork, compassion, and a little sense of humor.  Alexa worked in geriatric inpatient rehabilitation centers in the low country for the first five of her post-graduate years. She then wanted to expand her skill set by becoming more familiar with the outpatient setting, working with both adult and adolescent patients in sport and orthopedic rehabilitation centers. She was drawn to the pediatric world by keeping in touch with her colleague, Alli Johnson, whom she met while working in the geriatric setting. 
When she is not at work, Alexa finds joy while volunteering her time to help others via a Bible-education ministry. She also volunteers in assisting with safety training for volunteers involved in a nonprofit construction organization for education and worship centers of Jehovah’s Witnesses. She also loves spending time with her friends and family, and her dog, Mia.

Sadie The Therapy Dog, S.D. Gunner Fund Graduate

Sadie is a goldendoodle from Atlanta, Georgia.  She graduated from the S.D Gunner Fund Therapy Dog training program.  Sadie enjoys greeting children in the waiting room, helping nervous kids transition back to therapy, celebrating therapy successes, and comforting kiddos during challenging tasks.

When she isn’t working, Sadie enjoys belly rubs, nudging your hand for more belly rubs, chasing a ball at the beach, and paddle boarding.

Speech Therapy

Speech and language therapy helps establish the vital skills that are crucial for communication. Our team of speech pathologists and speech pathology assistants work with a variety of disabilities and diagnosis. A comprehensive evaluation by a team member will determine if speech therapy is recommended. Intervention is provided to children currently struggling with apraxia, articulation, Autism spectrum disorders, augmentative communication, fluency disorders, oral motor skills, phonological disorders, receptive and expressive language delays, stuttering, dysphagia and swallowing. We work with children of all ages and ensure the best quality of care by emphasizing your child’s strengths! We pride ourselves on working closely with the family throughout the evaluation, intervention and discharge phase of therapy.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy focuses on difficulties participating in or completing meaningful activities, which is a child’s occupation. Our team of occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants work with a variety of disabilities and diagnosis. A comprehensive evaluation by a team member will determine if occupational therapy would be beneficial. A child’s “occupational” skills involve play, and this therapy focuses on improving their success in everyday activities that require attention, motor coordination, fine motor skills, sensory processing, visual perceptual skills and strength, such as required for cutting with scissors and handwriting. We work with children of all ages and provide the highest level of care by emphasizing your child’s strengths! We pride ourselves on working closely with the family throughout the evaluation, intervention and discharge phase of therapy.

Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy helps children maximize their physical abilities. Our team of physical therapists and physical therapy assistants work with a variety of disabilities and diagnosis. Following a comprehensive evaluation, if therapy is recommended, intervention will target increasing functional limitations due to a delay, disorder, a disease process, or trauma. This therapy focuses on enhancing reflexes, improving tone, range of motion, and strength, as well as motor skills and functions. Treatment may include improving developmental tasks, motor planning, manipulation skills, balance, and/or coordination. We work with children of all ages and deliver the highest level of care by emphasizing your child’s strengths! We pride ourselves on working closely with the family throughout the evaluation, intervention and discharge phase of therapy.

What are the costs of services?

The cost of therapy varies dependent upon the type of services you are seeking for your child. Please call to find out more about our pricing.

Does my insurance cover services?

We accept and are in network for a variety of insurance carriers including South Carolina Medicaid, Baby net, Healthy Connections Medicaid, Molina, Wellcare, Absolute Total Care, BCBS/Blue Choice, Tricare Prime, Tricare Select, Optum, Rehab Provider Network, United Health Care, Cigna, Aetna.

How long will my child need speech therapy?

The duration of therapy services is affected by a number of factors, some of which include:

1) The reason for the delay

2) The severity of the delay

3) Are there other disorders present

4) Readiness and commitment to therapy

What should I be doing as the parent?

Feedback will be provided during or following each therapy session. Utilizing this feedback to actively participate in the development of your child’s skills as well as the remediation of any disorders will positively impact your child’s response to therapy.


“We want to thank Now We’re Talking Therapy Services for the positive impact you have had on our family’s lives. Our children have used speech, physical and occupational therapy services and are thriving. As a parent it is comforting to find the right help for your child’s needs. We are extremely grateful for all the hard work, patience and care the therapists have shown our children. This help has been life changing in giving them confidence as they grow and mature.”

“Now We’re Talking has been instrumental in the development and growth of our two children. We have used both their PT and speech services and couldn’t be more pleased with the results. The therapists and staff are incredibly knowledgeable, patient and caring. If your child has any developmental delays, don’t hesitate to use their incredible services.”

“I knew that Dominic would need therapies since he was 18 months old, his pediatrician could not refer him to a better place than Now We’re Talking Therapy Services. In this company we not only find therapies, we find support, we find explanations, we find love, his staff is the sweetest most professional there is. It’s facilities are perfectly designed for the needs of children and therapists. My son has a perfect evolution and the most important, he is a Happy Boy! Today after 3 years, my son Dominic and I love every therapist and every therapy day!”

“It’s really hard to put all my gratitude into short sentences but let me try. Having a child with a need can be overwhelming. My daughter was diagnosed at birth with hearing loss and received hearing aids at 5 months old. The roller coaster of doctor visits is steep. Having a qualified SLP such as Stephanie Verba at Now We are Talking by my side makes the incline less stressful. Working with a SLP is crucial for speech development. Stephanie is always consistent, communicates material covered each session and always has an uplifting positive demeanor. She is a very structured SLP targeting areas that need the most attention. My daughter loves her visits with Stephanie! She has no clue she is working towards a goal, to her it is simply getting to play with someone she adores. Being able to work with an organization such as Now We are Talking has taught me so much about speech. I must also give a big high five to Sadie, the furry therapy dog. Nothing sweeter than a loving animal to brighten your child’s day. Over the years I’ve worked with the  public school system and Now We are Talking, there is a deeper connection between parents and SLP outside of a school setting. I highly recommend working with Now We are Talking!”

What to expect